Posted by News Express | 17 March 2014 | 2,998 times
Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has been tasked to provide quality projects to the people of the Niger Delta region.
Governor Godswill Akpabio gave the charge Friday at a dinner organised by the State Government for the Management and Board Members of NDDC who were in Uyo, the state capital, for a retreat. “The first thing I like to advise is the quality of your projects,” he said. “Let NDDC also do quality projects for the Niger Delta so that we don’t have to repeat and keep spending so much money on maintenance. Take it as your personal house, if you want to give your children something, you would give them the best. Do the same and that is when you would have a final thank you.”
Akpabio challenged NDDC to borrow a leaf from the quality of projects done in Akwa Ibom and advised his guests to assess the performance of the Commission since inception in order to know if it has lived to the expectation for which it was formed.
According to him, “I cannot criticise NDDC. I believe you have done well within the beginning of your structure. May be if the structures were different, you would have also performed differently. But this board should take stock of NDDC’s performance since formation and see whether NDDC has fared well. If you are satisfied then that is it, if you are not satisfied, then change gear.”
The governor expressed confidence that with the current Managing Director of NDDC, Mr. Bassey Dan-Abia, the Commission would assume new status and solicited cooperation and support for him.
“I have no doubt that the Managing Director will manage well because he was a commissioner in my cabinet before coming there. I remember I put him there twice to represent Akwa Ibom people. So, he knows the problem of NDDC very well and I want to urge for support to him.
“Most often, the problem of NDDC in the past has been in-fighting among the top managing members of the board. You all know how you were appointed and your tenure is in your hands. If you decide to do the complete four years, good, but if you decide that we nominate new people before 2015, we will do that. One of the things that can help you is humility and the fear of God. I advise you to cooperate with one another, keep an open mind; don’t look for somebody’s downfall. If you see somebody making a mistake, correct that person.”
Akpabio made a case for the restructuring of NDDC project sharing formula, saying: “In NDDC, you are not supposed to share projects according to the size of representatives; you share things according to oil production. It is meant to alleviate the sufferings of the oil-producing communities and your job is to enhance the living standard despite the ecological damage caused by oil exploration and exploitation. So, you must obtain the indices from revenue mobilisation and from DPI and use that as the basis for sharing your projects.”
Responding, NDDC Board Chairman, Mr. Ewa Henshaw, described the new structure of NDDC as a divine call, noting: “From the time we were inaugurated, we have bonded effectively. What I want to assure His Excellency is that this board will serve for four years.”
Henshaw said the choice of Uyo for the retreat was neither his decision nor that of the MD but that of the NDDC staff, stating: “Uyo has provided us with a platform for what we have christened this evening ‘Uyo declaration’. I can tell you that all the staff and board have keyed into that declaration; and we have told ourselves that all the things that used to happen in the NDDC in the past have died.
“Our declarations in Uyo this evening include a number of realities. One of it is that we have determined that NDDC must work differently. We would try and emulate you to produce quality work. We want to partner you and that partnership will mean that we would begin to produce quality work that will outlive us. One or two of the contractors that you have used, I have already spoken to them. I have given them simple conditions that whatever road we built must stand for 50 years.”
•Photo shows Governor Akpabio.
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